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Connecticut Marriage Records

Connecticut marriage records are official documents containing details of married couples within the Constitution State. Such records may include the information on the license application, the certificate created after marriage, or forms signed during the marriage. While records vary, marriage records generally provide the following information:

  • Name of both parties at the time of the marriage (first, middle, and last)
  • Name taken after the marriage
  • Date of the marriage
  • Marriage location
  • Birthplaces of both parties

Connecticut marriage records are important for various reasons. Certified documents are often required for any formal transaction that requires proof of relationship, such as applying for spousal benefits, name changes, or passport application.

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Connecticut

Connecticut maintains different types of marriage records, the most common of which include marriage licenses and marriage certificates. While both documents are records, they're issued for different reasons. 

Connecticut Marriage Certificate:

A Connecticut marriage certificate is a legal document issued after a marriage ceremony has occured. They prove the two parties were legally wed under Connecticut marriage laws (Chapter 815e). Residents can obtain certified copies of such records by contacting the Connecticut Department of Public Health's State Vital Records Office. To obtain a marriage certificate, couples must meet several requirements, including:

  • Obtaining a marriage license
  • Holding a marriage ceremony within the provided period

Connecticut Marriage License:

A Connecticut marriage license is a legal document issued by the clerk's office that grants couples the right to marry.  Unlike marriage certificates, which are created after a marriage, licenses are issued before the marriage. To obtain a Connecticut marriage license, both parties must meet several state requirements, such as:

  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Both must not be directly related (sibling, parent sibling, stepchild, grandparent, child, or stepparent)
  • Participants must indicate their consent.
  • Applicants must already be party to another marriage (or any legal relationship that is similar to a marriage, such as a civil union)

Are Connecticut Marriage Records Public?

Anyone can obtain copies of a Connecticut marriage record as long as the requester is at least 18 years old. However, per state laws,  members of the public are only issued certified records containing general information. Details of protected information, such as a social security number, are restricted from the public. Certified copies of a marriage record with such information can only be obtained by spouses named on the certificate or any other person authorized by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. 

How to Find Marriage Records in Connecticut

You can find copies of a Connecticut marriage record by following several general steps.

Step 1. Collect Information about the Marriage

To find or obtain a marriage record, you'll need to have or provide some details that can assist with the search process. Most offices require that requesters submit an application that includes all or most of the following information:

  • The legal name of the spouses before marriage (first, middle, and last)
  • Date of marriage
  • Name of city or town where the marriage occured

Step 2. Submit the Application and Pay the Fee

Applications for a marriage license are generally submitted to the records office in the town or city where the couple resided before the marriage or the location where the marriage occurred. You can submit your request at the local office or via mail. While mail requests may be more convenient, in-person applications have shorter processing times.

Offices are generally open between 8:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. In addition to a signed form, you'll need to provide some personal details, such as:

  • Your full name
  • Address
  • The town or city where you reside
  • Relationship with the spouses
  • Signature and number of copies requested

You'll also need to pay the state fee. Certified copies of a marriage record generally cost $20 per copy. Depending on the medium (mail or in-person applications), acceptable payment options may include cash or money orders. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Connecticut

You'll need a marriage license if you wish to marry in Connecticut. Marriage licenses are generally issued at the vital records office of the town or city where the marriage will occur. Anyone can obtain a license by following several general steps:

Step 1. Meet the State Requirements

To marry in Connecticut, you must meet the state's rules on eligibility. Under state laws, applicants may obtain marriage licenses as long as:

  • They are at least 18 years old
  • Are not marrying a direct relative (sibling, parent sibling, stepchild, grandparent, child, or stepparent)
  • Are not a party to another marriage (or any legal relationship that is similar to a marriage)

If you're under the supervision of a conservator, you'll need to obtain a license with the conservator's written consent.

Step 2. Provide the Necessary Information

As part of the license application process, both parties must provide documents that prove their identity and age, such as a driver's license or US passport. Applications for marriage licenses must also clearly state the couple's names (in full), birthplace, residence, and parents' names. In addition, both parties must provide their social security number.
Step 3. Submit the Application 

Marriage license applications must be made in person at the office. You'll need to submit a signed application. If the application is approved, you'll receive a marriage license. Unlike some states, Connecticut does not mandate any waiting period on marriage licenses. This means intended couples can marry the same day a license is issued. However, marriage licenses are only valid for 65 days, during which you must have a wedding ceremony. If you cannot have a ceremony before the license expires, you'll need to reapply (and pay) for a new one.

Note: Eligible parties who may perform marriages in Connecticut include judges, retired judges, ordained or licensed members of the clergy, magistrates, appointed justices of the peace, and family support referees. 

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Connecticut?

Anyone can obtain a copy of a marriage record in Connecticut by submitting a request to the State Vital Records office or the office in the town where the marriage occured. However, requesters must be at least 18 years old. In addition, record custodians may restrict access to some of the information if the requester has no direct relationship with the record. For instance, only parties to the marriage may obtain certified copies of a record that includes the spouse's social security numbers.

As part of the requirements for obtaining marriage records, you'll need to provide some details about the record to assist with the search, such as:

  • The names of the groom or spouse
  • Date of the marriage
  • Name of the person making the request
  • Address and contact details

You'll also need to specify the number of copies you want and pay the expected fee. 

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Connecticut

Although marriage records are public in Connecticut, residents must pay to obtain certified copies from the Department of Public Health. The office processes mail-in and walk-in applications. However, record seekers may be able to look up some marriage records for free using third-party platforms. Unconnected to the government, such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions within and outside the state. Access to some records may require key information, such as the subject's name or marriage location.  In addition, older marriage records may be available at no cost using the state's archives. 

Is Connecticut a Common Law State for Marriage?

Connecticut does not recognize common law marriages established within its borders. However, the state recognizes the validity of common law marriages based in other states that accept this union, such as Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The Colorado court system also recognizes the validity of cohabitation agreements created by state residents. But while such agreements typically outline the arrangements, responsibilities, and rights of couples living together, they do not provide all the rights available to a married couple.

In common law marriages, two people living together are considered married even though they do not have a marriage license as long as they meet some criteria. Some of the general requirements may include:

  • Both parties must be cohabitants
  • Both parties must have lived together for more than seven years
  • Both parties hold themselves out to the world as married by filing joint documents, adopting the same name, or referring to each other as spouses.
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